In our first blog on post-divorce relocation, we discussed how to proceed if one parent wishes to relocate, making it very difficult to retain the original parenting schedule that the parties had agreed to. This blog shares an example of how what appears to be an impossible situation, may actually be resolved through creative planning fostered by mediation.
A while back, I had a case where at the time of the separation, the mother decided to move back to Japan with the two children so that she could be closer to her own family. Aside from feeling very lonely as a single Japanese woman in the US, she argued that the father was constantly traveling for his business and that she would rather be in Japan where she had a support system. Under these new circumstances, however, the father could never have weekly or bi-weekly time with his children when back at home.
After much discussion and going back and forth with multiple plans, the parents decided that:
- The father would come to Japan a set number of times a year for one-week visits when he would have the children stay with him in a hotel. This allowed him to spend time with them during the school year, take them and pick them up at school and be somewhat involved with their day-to-day activities.
- Twice a year during school vacations, the father would fly the children with him to another destination and spend time with them outside of Japan.
The children were under the age of 10 when their parents separated and could not travel by themselves, but the parents agreed that as the children grew older and were able to travel by themselves, they could meet their father in another country.
Is this solution perfect? Of course not, but there really is no perfect solution. If the parties were in litigation, their lawyers would present the facts to a judge who would “render his decision” by which the parties would have to abide. But within a mediation process, with the help of the mediator, the parties can brainstorm together, examining multiple options and eventually choosing the one that works best for them.
In this case, mediation provided an environment where this couple could explore creative solutions to a seemingly impossible situation. The couple worked hard, and together turned a situation that at first seemed overwhelming, with potentially no good outcome, into one that they could live with and where their children would still have time with their father several times a year.
Do you or anyone you know have what appears to be an impossible situation to overcome? Please give us a call to discuss how mediation may help find a creative and workable solution.
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Comments & Replies from Social Media
Just the idea that when a situation seems impossible it may actually not be, can provide a source of comfort and a ray of hope during a challenging time. Your clients are fortunate to benefit from your skill and talent. As a Life Coach, I am often the voice of possibility with my clients, working to empower them to get creative when it comes to moving-on post divorce and to build a life which is not bound by perceived limitations that may not actually exist. It’s always interesting to notice the synergies between what we do. Thanks for your inspiring and articulate words!
By Heidi Bernstein Krantz (via LinkedIn)
jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator divorce and family mediation upper east side of manhattan (nyc) new york, ny (212) 472-8626 email@example.com connect on